Tiny semi-permeable bags of nanoparticles will help deliver protein degrading cancer therapy
Proteins are responsible for most of the functions of cells and organisms. They play roles in structure, function and regulation, and include molecules such as antibodies, enzymes, hormones and receptors. When they go rogue, the results can be devastating. All mammalian cells express three closely related Ras proteins: H-Ras, K-Ras and N-Ras. The proteins can mutate to become cancer-causing, and their mutations are associated with about 30 % of all human cancers. KRAS is the most common mutation. Compounds capable of targeted protein degradation promise a new route to cancer therapy, yet they have faced numerous practical obstacles. The EU-funded BOOMCHEMBAGS project is assembling compounds targeting KRAS with the help of copper nanoparticles placed in the tumour in semi-permeable sachets, letting precursors in without letting the nanoparticles out. The project's results will have an important impact on a wide variety of protein-related conditions and diseases.